by Kassandra Lamb (on behalf of the whole gang)
At Halloween, I often wax nostalgic about my mother’s DIY Halloween costumes. This year, I asked the other misterio press authors if they had ever made (or had made for them) DIY Halloween costumes. Here are some of our happy memories…
We didn’t have a lot of money when I was a little kid, so store-bought costumes were beyond our means.
And they were a newfangled thing, not very realistic—usually just something printed on a cheap plastic poncho and a mask.
Lucky for us, my mom was handy and had a good imagination. She would cobbled together costumes from old clothes and other things around the house.
Her best effort was the year she and my dad went to a Halloween party as Palladin (from the TV show, Have Gun–Will Travel) and his sidekick, the Chinese bellhop at the hotel where Palladin was a permanent resident.
Probably wouldn’t be considered politically correct today, but this was 1962.
My father looked a bit like Richard Boone, the actor who played Palladin, complete with a pencil mustache, and that similarity was Mom’s inspiration.
She then modified the costumes for my older brother and myself, and we went trick-or-treating in them. Really wish I had a pic of that!! I remember all the compliments we got though, and LOTS of candy that year.
I can’t claim to be as creative as my mother, and I’m definitely not as good a seamstress, but I did managed to make some pretty cool DIY Halloween costumes for my son.
Including this pirate costume from second grade. My mother provided the stuffed parrot.
When you’re a parent, you learn plenty fast how to DIY stuff. Shoe boxes, stencils, and macaroni are our BFFs. We wield Ye Olde Hot Glue Gun with nary a thought for our own fingers.
Bring it on, kiddo. You need a Native American teepee diorama out of toothpicks and flour tortillas…no problem! Your soccer team wants a dino-skeleton banner out of craft felt, PVC pipe, and rebar…no problem!
How about a Halloween costume requiring pinned-on craft foam and a black turtleneck…no problem!
Ah, but pride goeth before the fall.
Then comes the time when son #3 wants a custom-made, realistic Halloween outfit of a video game character you’ve never heard of. Welcome to the realm of cosplay.
Yikes. I mean…ahem, let’s see what we can do.
My sewing machine skills are shaky at best. (Did I list safety pins as one of my BFFs? I should have). But at last, with a lot of jury-rigging and a great deal of patience from son #3, the costume of Altair (from Assassin’s Creed) came to fruition.
And we’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of it: he’s worn it for two Halloweens, two fandom conventions, and two Halloween orchestra concerts (back when he played cello in school).
And we aren’t done with it yet! His older brother, son #2, caught the cosplay bug (he’s in his 20s, and too old for Halloween). That’s him on the far right. You’ll notice the white tunic and arm/leg gauntlets are the same, and he just changed up a few elements. He was a big hit at the Renaissance Fair!
Unfortunately, I don’t have any pics, but my daughter once went to a Halloween party as static cling.
We hot glued used dryer sheets to an old sweatshirt and jeans. Then I made her hair stand up all over with gel.
That’s the kind of crazy kid I have!
We thought it was brilliant, but sadly she didn’t win the most creative costume award.
When I was still teaching, I put a lot of effort into my costumes. Halloween was a big deal at Watsonville High School—lots of students in costume!
I think Halloween’s close correspondence to Dia de los Muertos on Nov. 2nd made it a better cultural fit for our student body, in Santa Cruz County, California, than some other holidays.
In the wood nymph costume, I made the paper mache mask. It’s kind of creepy, but hey, that’s Halloween. And I sewed my green felt skirt and top.
But the Collaboration costume below is probably my favorite. My colleague, Karyn, and I collaborated in the AVID program.
The AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program targeted students with the desire to go to college who might need a boost—not top-notch or at-risk students, just average+ students.
Karyn taught skills like note-taking and reading for comprehension, discussed college requirements, coordinated with their teachers to monitor their progress, and so on.
We tried to have her students placed in my freshmen English class, so I could help them with their all-important communication skills.
Thus our joint costume. 🙂
How about you? Have you ever made a DIY Halloween costume, or had one made for you?
And what better way to celebrate Halloween than with a new witch cozy from Kirsten Weiss!
Fey: A Doyle Witch Cozy Mystery (The Witches of Doyle Book 5)
This witch will do anything for a normal life with the man she loves. But when you’re on fairy patrol, normal is relative.
Witch Jayce Bonheim has packed away her candles, crystals and cauldrons. With her boyfriend recovering from a hex, she’s determined to build a sane and magic-free life for them both.
But when a horde of troublemaking gnomes invades the small town of Doyle, it’s up to Jayce and her magical sisters to send them packing.
After the gnomes lead Jayce to a murdered employee from her own café, she’s plunged into an investigation that lands her in the sheriff’s crosshairs. And Jayce must catch a killer before the sheriff’s brewing witch hunt nets a very real witch.
Spells included in the back of the book.
About the Author: Kirsten Weiss has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking red wine. The latter gives her heartburn, but she drinks it anyway. Now based in San Mateo, CA, she writes genre-blending cozy mystery, supernatural and steampunk suspense, mixing her experiences and imagination to create vivid worlds of fun and enchantment.
If you like funny cozy mysteries, check out her Pie Town, Paranormal Museum and Wits’ End books. If you’re looking for some magic with your mystery, give the Witches of Doyle, Riga Hayworth and Rocky Bridges books a try. And if you like steampunk, the Sensibility Grey series might be for you.
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